Animals Biology Health Videos 

Will You Still Eat Raw Fish After Watching This Video?

Sushi, sashimi, and poke are delicious. Why? It’s because they’re all made of raw fish! But, have you ever noticed that warning about raw or undercooked seafood at the bottom of restaurant menus? Have you ever wondered why it’s there? It’s there because fish carry a ton of parasites. And if the fish aren’t prepared correctly, then those parasites can make it into your body. This fishy intersection with the wild world of parasites can teach us a lot about how these moochers help keep ecosystems healthy, and why we…

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Why Do Humans Have Thumbs and Not Fins? Biology Education Paleontology Videos 

Why Do Humans Have Thumbs and Not Fins?

Did you know we can trace the evolution of our hands, and thumbs, back to a 375 million-year-old fish called Tiktaalik? Watch this video with paleontologist and geneticist Dr. Neil Shubin to learn what a fish and a little blue hedgehog can teach us about the evolution of thumbs. This is a video from Dr. Joe Hanson’s It’s Okay To Be Smart series.     Tiktaalik is a 375 years-old fish with fins. When we look under its fin rays and take off the scales, what we find are versions of our…

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Fish Fight Club Reveals Brains of Winners and Losers Animals Biology 

Fish Fight Club Reveals Brains of Winners and Losers

By Amanda Alvarez @neuroamanda The two opponents circle each other, showing off their scaly might and impressive stripes. Suddenly one darts forward, biting the other near the dorsal fin—and the fish fight is in full swing. The biting and dodging can go on for up to 20 minutes, but this is not a fight to the death. Zebrafish fight to maintain a social hierarchy, and eventually one will concede and withdraw to the bottom of the tank while the victorious opponent circles above. These winner and loser behaviors, it turns…

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skeleton Animals Biology Oceanography Science & Art 

Preserving a Soft Skeleton: Backs without Bones

By Sebastien Enault What are shark skeletons made of? The skeleton of modern sharks, rays, and skates consists of cartilage, a connective tissue that is lighter and more flexible than bone. Most people closely associate the skeleton with bone, and are familiar with the skeletal structure of many ancient and modern vertebrates, which are beautifully described in a vast number of anatomical works and frequently displayed in most natural history museums. However, while sharks and rays are very popular in aquariums around the world, few people actually know what their…

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Shellfish threatened by climate change: A mussel farm in South India (Photo courtesy of Lucy Turner) Environment Oceanography 

Will Climate Change Take Shellfish Off Menus?

Do you enjoy a tasty shrimp scampi, or perhaps some steamed mussels with lemon? How about a few oysters on the half shell? If so, you won’t be happy to hear that those and other shellfish dishes may soon be harder to come by. Climate change models are predicting rising sea temperatures around the world. In the tropics, rainfall is also predicted to increase, reducing the salt concentration of the surface layer of the sea. Together, these changes are expected to dramatically affect the world supply of seafood. Shellfish and…

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Giant Squid (Photo ©AMNH/P.Rollins) Animals Biology Oceanography 

The Voyage of the Giant Squid

This episode of the Shelf Life video series focuses on a simple transportation problem– how to  transport the body of a rare giant squid. But long before they were a quandary for customs officials, these mysterious cephalopods fueled fear and folklore all over the world. While they may not breathe fire or devour large ships, the animals that inspired their mythological counterparts are no less fantastic. The Giant Squid and the Kraken Though giant squid won’t reach the size of the mythological gigantic kraken— often depicted demolishing boats with its…

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Electric Blue Cichlid (Courtesy of Criminalatt) Animals Oceanography Videos 

Hey Cichlid, Check Out My Sandcastle

By Tom Evans (@AquaEvans)  Here is a healthy reminder that all those other fish in the sea aren’t so bad. I’d like to justify my belief that Lake Malawi cichlids are considerably more charming than most human companions. Before we go on, I am not encouraging you to leave your wife/husband and run to the nearest lake. Lake Malawi, also known as Lake Nyasa in Tanzania and Lago Niassa in Mozambique, is an African Great Lake. It is located between Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania. Cichlid Love Cichlids are charismatic lovers, and…

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Coelacanth, Shelf Life Episode 3, American Museum of Natural History Video Animals Biology Videos 

Fishing for Facts: Studying the Rare Coelacanth

Meet the Coelacanth Coelacanths (see-la-kanths) are large, ancient fish with arm-like fins and armor-like scales. They can be found in the fossil record through the time of the dinosaurs, but disappear about 70 million years ago. Everyone thought the creature was extinct. Then, in 1938, the coelacanth splashed into the modern world when one was caught in a fishing net off the coast of South Africa. The prehistoric specimen pulled from the fishing net was discovered by Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, the curator of the East London Museum, located in South Africa.…

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Bluefin Tuna at the Hopkins Marine Station, Monterey Bay Aquarium in California (©Monterey Bay Aquarium/Randy Wilder) Animals Biology Oceanography 

Tuna Stay Warm with Cold Hearts

The heart of a bluefin tuna keeps pumping during extreme temperature changes that would stop a human heart, according to a joint team of scientists from the University of Manchester and Stanford University. Pacific bluefin tuna are top predators renowned for their epic migrations across the Pacific Ocean. They are also unique amongst bony fish as they are warm bodied (endothermic) and can raise their core body temperature to 20°C above that of the surrounding water. They can also dive down into much colder water 1000 meters or more below…

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Harlequin filefish can disguise their smell to confuse predators (Tane Sinclair-Taylor) Animals Biology 

Harlequin Filefish Uses Smell to Fool Predators

By Kate Stone Researchers have found an ingenious coral-eating fish that can change its smell to hide from predators. It’s the harlequin filefish, and it camouflages its scent to smell like the coral it’s eating. In other words, it manages to smell like its own food, and not like something else’s. “By feeding on corals, the harlequin filefish ends up smelling enough like its food that predators have a hard time distinguishing it from the surrounding coral habitat,” explains Rohan Brooker from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef…

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